Our beginners guide to PPC attempts to differentiate between the wood and the stones for the benefit of those starting out with pay per click advertising.

beginners guide to PPC

I’m going to focus for the most part on Google as we’re certified in Google Ads. Many of the points I will make are equally applicable to Facebook, Twitter or any other. form of PPC advertising.

What is PPC?

Pay per Click advertising is exactly what it implies, you only pay every time somebody clicks on your ad. The trick is to get your ad in front of the right person at the right time. As befits a beginners guide to PPC we’re going to keep this simple. Though you might want to read our article How does PPC perform against SEO for some perspective.

Keywords in PPC

With Google Ads, you specify a number of keywords that will inform Google’s choice of search terms that your ad might be suited to.

There are three main categories of keyword, Broad Match, Phrase Match and Exact Match. These categories can be applied out the same phrase. So let’s take an example. If I’m choosing keywords for the Dog Grooming industry I might want to second guess the most popular search terms – let’s take “Dog Grooming Shropshire” as an example.

If I categorise this as a Broad Match keyword then Google will put my ad into the auction for a broad number of searches. Very broad. So it may appear in response to a search as far removed as “Golden Pooch phone number” if Golden Pooch is a rival company in the same industry.

If I categorise the term as a Phrase Match keyword then “Best Dog Grooming Shropshire” will trigger my bid, as will “Best dog Grooming in Shropshire and the Marches” But “Dog Grooming Best breed in Shropshire” will probably not work. Google say that as long as the meaning of the phrase is not altered the search will trigger a Phrase Match keyword..

An exact match keyword is exactly that. Only a search for “Dog Grooming Shropshire” will trigger the ad. So Dog Grooming in Shropshire will miss.

In terms of impressions, Broad Match gets the most, Phrase Match the second most and Exact Match the least. So why would you want. to use an exact match keyword if it gets the least impressions? We’ll come to that in a minute, but first lets have a quick look at Negative Keywords.

beginners guide to PPC

Negative Keywords

Remember the point I made about some broad match keywords being sufficiently wide of the mark as to be unhelpful? Well negative keywords can be used to mitigate against this.

Let’s take an example. If “Dog Grooming Shropshire” is triggered by users searching for a rival company’s content details then I can stop that by having “Phone” and Contact” as negative keywords. The users don’t get my ad and I don’t waste my money on people looking for somebody else’s phone number.

Viewer Types

For marketing purposes there are three types of viewer. Those who are browsing with no real pattern or reason, those who are researching something and those who have done their research and are looking to buy something. These types match the following ad functions – Awareness, Consideration and Intent.

There is no point in putting a hard sell in front of somebody who is randomly browsing, but you might want to put an ad with a message they’ll remember without being put off. That increases their awareness of your brand.

“Dog Groomers near me” is a typical in-market search – the searcher is looking for Dog Groomers in a certain town and they probably will make a list and compare prices, services etc. Getting an ad to these people achieves Consideration – you’re in their thinking and on their list.

“Best Dog Groomer for Labradors” signifies real Intent. The searcher has a Labrador and wants to know who can groom it. They intend to make a decision.

One person may fall into each of these categories as their search progresses over time. So you might want different ads, geared to each of these phases.

Beginners Guide to PPC?

There are a lot of moving parts to successful PPC. The things to bear in mind if you’re just starting out are:

  1. User Journey – what are they going to do when they click through to your landing page?
  2. What are the key phrases that users are most likely to search with?
  3. What are. the general phrases that describe your offering?
  4. What specific phrase can you see a searcher using if your web site is the perfect destination?
  5. What specific phrase will somebody looking for your kind of solution be looking for?

At Helter Skelter we help people to be successful. The Beginners Guide to PPC is one of a number of articles we’ve written with the intention of helping people steer clear of the weeds in their digital marketing projects. Beyond beginners, we’re certified in Google Ads and Google Display and we offer services across the entire digital marketing spectrum so we give us a call and let us help you to get to the next level in your online marketing – PPC Google & Facebook